Lifestyle

4 Steps to Making the End of 2016 Count

“ Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

If you happen to live in New Jersey like me, you can start to see the subtle changes of summer transitioning into fall. I love fall and winter, so these changes make me so happy! For all the women out there who are just as obsessed with pumpkin lattes, fall candles, boots and scarves you know the level of excitement I am feeling. But whether you are in New Jersey and can physically see these differences, or in California where it might not be as noticeable, fall is still approaching and that means it is the perfect time to get a little pep in your step and make the end of the year count.

Do you remember that feeling when you were going back to school? Your books were accounted for, all your school supplies were bought, and you had the perfect back pack in tow. It could be because I loved school and was slightly obsessed with new school supplies (that would be the organizer in me), but there was an energy of change, new beginnings, new possibilities, excitement, curiosity and eagerness. I think everyone can relate in some way to the feeling they felt when it was time to go back to school. It felt like a new chapter in your life, and when you are in school that is exactly what it is! It is a fresh start, a chance to accomplish new things, a time to challenge yourself, a period to have fun with friends, and create endless experiences.

I think that is what fall and September represent for everyone, whether you are in school or not. It is a chance to regroup, take a deep breath, get everything in order (go buy some new supplies) and really make the end of the year count! There are four months left until we are ringing in the New Year. However, somehow these four months always seem to fly before our eyes, so it is important to stay organized and get the most out of this last quarter of the year.

Think about how much a college student accomplishes during their first semester. It’s amazing how much gets completed within that time! It feels like a lifetime within those four months. This proves how much you can get done in such a short amount of time. 122 days separate you from where you are now and the end of the year. Couple that with the holidays and you can have yourself an amazing end of the year! Don’t let it get ahead of you. Stay organized, diligent, focused, and passionate about what it is you want, and then GO FOR IT!

Follow these 4 tips to make the next four months your best ones yet.

1.) Review the year so far

Reflect on all that has happened in 2016.  What have you accomplished? How do you feel? How much time have you spent with your family and friends? Have you traveled? Have you crossed almost everything off your goal list, or only a few? Do you feel happy with where this year has taken you? There are two scenarios. You may be having the most incredible year ever and cannot wait for the last quarter of the year to happen. In this case you don’t want to slack off. Keep that momentum going! Or you might feel the pressure since this year hasn’t gone as planned. If you are not where you wanted to be at this point in the year, don’t panic. Regroup, set a detailed plan, and go after what you want. Whatever you do, don’t plan to start fresh in 2017. There are four months left in this year. That is plenty of time to make a change.

2.) Outline 1-3 goals per month

If used wisely four months is a lot of time, but it will go very quickly if you have no plan. Depending on what it is you want to accomplish, set one to three goals per month. This is dependent on the person. You may have one final goal you wish to complete this year. In this case, break that up into the steps needed to achieve that goal. For example, “ I have lost 15 pounds by Christmas.” In September, October, November and December write down your workout schedule, how many times you’re going to work out, when you will have cheat meals, who is going to hold you accountable etc. Break that one goal down. If you have 10 goals you wish to accomplish by the end of the year, break those goals down by month. What goals are possible by September, and which ones need more time and will be accomplished by the end of the year? Outline your goals and make a plan.

3.) Plan ahead for the holidays

The holidays are the best time of the year! One of the wonderful things about them is it breaks up our routine, and allows us to spend lots of time with those we love. Plan for this change. People are busier, schedules are crazier, and your routine will probably be different. When planning out what your goals are, be conscience of the holidays. Your schedule in December will certainly not be the same as September. Try to get as much done in the first three months. This will not only alleviate the pressure to get the rest of your list done in December, but it also allows you to adjust to the holiday schedule. Transport back to your first semester in college when you took your last final. That feeling was the best! It was time to go home, relax for a month, and be with your family. Work toward that same feeling present day. Work smart, stay focused and get everything done so when it comes time to sit down at Christmas dinner you can sit there and truly enjoy the time with your loved ones and not have a care in the world. Aim for that feeling!

4.) Put your foot on the gas!

You have four months. It is the last leg of the race. If you are in a place where you can witness the leaves changing, go explore!  Look at your goals, and make a plan for the end of the year. Finish those home projects you have been working on. Call friends that you hoped to see this year. Get on that treadmill before the holiday food takes over, and have an amazing end of 2016. Put your foot on the gas, and make it count! Set a goal to look back on New Year’s Day and be proud of the year you have had, especially those last four months.

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